On a recent visit to Rabat, two Belgian ministers met with newly elected (11/11) Moroccan PM Abdelilah Benkirane. Benkirane happens to be the head of the Islamist 'Justice and Development Party' which swept into victory thanks to the Arab Spring. As we know, Islamists have little to no respect for women, so he made a concerted effort to snub Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom by pretty much ignoring her throughout the whole meeting. God forbid he should have to deal with a woman. Of course he had no problems dealing with Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, who he praised for his flawless French.
Turtelboom displayed tremendous self-control for biting her tongue and not dealing with Benkirane's incredible rudeness- apparently she did not want to cause a 'diplomatic row'. But some were outraged by the whole incident.
Moroccan-Belgian MPs say her reaction is unblievable, and that Belgium should respond.
Yamila Idrissi (sp.a) and Nadia Sminate (N-VA) say that Turtleboom should have walked out of the meeting. But Idrissi says it's not too late for a response. "Belgium shouldn't leave things like that and make a point of it," she told Het Laatste Nieuws. "This is outrageous and unacceptable."
Sminate agrees. "This is disappointing from a strong woman like Annemie Turtelboom. If this isn't worth a row, than what is? Turtleboom should have responded .. this is a bad message for Moroccan women in Belgium."
They're right, of course. She had every right to walk out, and should have. But it just shows the tremendous lack of respect that Islamists have for women, and their lack of class.
I wonder how Hillary Clinton would have handled the situation, had it been her?